Catfish Banga Soup
Banga Soup, alternatively referred to as palm nut soup or ofe akwu, is a delicious Nigerian dish characterized by its delightful nutty flavor complemented by the savory taste of fish or various types of meat. Its popularity extends across neighboring countries, known as Mbanga soup in Cameroon, Abenkwan in Ghana, and Moambe in Congo.
Palm nut (also known as palm kernel) is the fruit of the palm oil tree, native to West and Central Africa, lends a delightfully nutty flavor to this soup, making it downright irresistible! It’s a dish well worth the effort and the praise!
Enjoy this delicious banga soup recipe with catfish.
Catfish Banga Soup
- 1 catfish washed and cut into pieces
- 10 cups palm nut fruit (banga)
- 1 large onion cut in half
- 1 tsp Cameroon pepper
- 2 tsp seasoning powder or bullion cubes (divided in 2)
- 3 stockfish panla okporoko, soaked in hot water
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers
- 1 tbsp banga spice a blend of irugeje and ataiko
- 1 – 2 tbsp dried bitter leaves Crushed
- 1 oburunbebe stick
- 2 medium dried fish soaked and bones removed
- 8-10 cups water
- 1 tbsp ground crayfish
- Place the banga (palm nut fruit) in a in a pot, top with water and bring to a boil. Cook it covered for at least 30 minutes until it softens. When it's done cooking, pound the banga using a mortar and pestle, add 7-8 cups of water, mix well and strain the banga water (it should be quite thick) into a different container. Set aside.
- In a pot, add the cleaned catfish along with the seasoning powder, salt and Cameroon pepper. Finely chop half the onion and throw it in the pot as well and add 1 cup or 2 of water. Simmer the fish for 10 or so minutes until tender and remove the pot off the heat.
- In a separate pot, cook the stockfish in some water for 10 minutes. Pour in the banga juice you extracted earlier.
- Place a lid on the pot and leave to simmer until oil starts to form on the surface and the liquid thickens.
- Meanwhile, blend the scotch bonnet pepper and the remaining half onion and add to the pot.
- Add the Banga spice, smoked fish, seasoning powder, salt, crayfish, and oburunbebe stick. Cover and leave to cook for another 10 mins.
- Next, add the cooked catfish and leave it to simmer for around 5 minutes. Then stir in the bitter leaves and cook until the leaves wilt and the soup thickens to your liking.
- Serve hot with starch or pounded yam, semolina or fufu. Enjoy!